New approach may lead to universal influenza vaccine

10/20/2013 | MedicalDaily.com

Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital used an immune-suppressing drug during influenza vaccination to spark a more diverse antibody response that offers protection against multiple viral strains, suggesting a new approach to developing a universal flu vaccine. In the study, mice vaccinated against the milder H3N2 strain were also protected from more dangerous strains, including H7N9 and H5N1, in later weeks. "[O]ur results show that a more diverse, less focused response provides a broader repertoire of antibodies that target different flu strains," said researcher Maureen McGargill.

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